Post 72

My bestie invited me for wine on the deck and a bonfire on Saturday night, the day after the Christmas party; I was feeling a little tired and my stomach a little fragile. I spent an oppressively hot and humid day in front of the TV watching the Australian cricket team get absolutely pummelled by the South Africans. The heat was heavy, the sweat was pouring out of me and I was praying for a big weather change to roll through, storms are one of my favourite things. They change the energy and the feel of the day; bring relief, fear and excitement, one of nature’s most beautiful shows. Rain, thunder and lightning were just ahead of me on the drive to my dinner date with the kids in the car. Our house was on the edge of the storm we only received a small sprinkle, but by the time I arrived at my besties place about 15 minutes from home, water was over the road, the air was lighter and there was the divine earthy scent of rain (Petrichor – the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra, meaning “stone”, and ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.) The bonfire was called off, so we settled on the deck to catch up.

My bestie is working full-time as a contract graphic designer in the city and her husband is renovating their new home in Brisbane, so to aid with school drop off and pick-up, they have hired a lovely, young lady from Germany to help the family. She is adventuring around Australia for the next two years earning, learning and gaining life experience. As someone who has never travelled too far, but would love to and as woman that is double this girl’s age. I love her fearless commitment (well she portrayed fearlessness) to stay and experience Australia and herself, to have the confidence to be in a foriegn country on the other side of the world to your home and explore and know what you want and need. I was sitting on my favourite cane lounge chair, cradling a glass of red observing this confident young lady. At her age I was a wall flower – who before my first day of work in a new job, made my boyfriend come for a drive with me so I would know where to go. She knows how to participate in conversation with poise and self-belief in what she is saying. She was completely at home in the setting and happy to help herself and have no trouble asking for what she wanted. What a brave girl. Asking for what she wants and needs, there is such vulnerability and openness in the act. I can’t imagine at her age, in a foreign country, living with a family that isn’t your own – asking. I still have trouble asking for things, showing that form of vulnerability. Also very appropriate that on this same day, I borrowed my besties book written by Amanda Palmer “The Art of asking”.

Amanda Metelli

The third lady in my #mesistertribe series is Amanda Metelli.

 

Metelli and I meet at a coffee shop for our interview and were seated in booth seating, it was the perfect setting for our fun chat. This gorgeous lady, saves lives everyday as an emergency department nurse. I was fascinated by her plans to celebrate her own life and wanted to hear more about it. Because I don’t know many women, who plan for a whole year to celebrate themselves, to celebrate their achievements and their successes with the absolute most important people in their lives. As Metelli said to me “these aren’t people that are on a list, just to make a list, these are the most, the most important people in my world.”

Our tea and coffee was delivered to our table and she started telling me about her plans. I love her excitement and how animated she is in telling me all of her plans.

“I literally started planning this party on my 29th birthday. I was on a beach in Nice and I may have had a little bit of a moment, where I had a meltdown, with my Dad – of course.  Where I looked back, and thought I will be turning 30 and what have I achieved.  How can I celebrate all the things that are important?

Metelli went on to tell me that her Dad, started listing everything that his daughter had achieved.

“You have a career, you have your own mortgage, you have travelled and you have great friends.”

Although our conversation was about how she was going to celebrate her 30th birthday these achievements, and the importance of family, friends and self-discovery was the foundation.

“If I could recommended anything for anyone wanting to find themselves. Is to literally pack themselves a suitcase, get on a plane and go somewhere completely foreign. You will find out who you are and what you are willing and not willing to do.”

“Tell me all about this magnificent party that is nothing like a wedding.”

“This party going to be so far from a wedding it is not funny, it’s not a birthday bash or a dirty 30.”

“The invitation has set the tone for the party, no jeans allowed and if you wear joggers, I will kick you out”.

The room is booked, the event planner has meticulously listened to Metelli’s vision and her dream for her 30th birthday celebration, the florist has the flowers picked and the photographer is organised. One of Metelli’s talents is cake making, and I mean amazingly creative, stunning cakes. So she will be creating her own purple, black and gold masterpiece.

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Look at her cake making skills

 

 

“The event planner and the florist have been so great and so excited, I think they are excited not to be doing a wedding or a Christmas party.”

“The morning of the party, I am going to book us all in for pedicures. Because even my Grandma can come to that, the accommodation is booked, I just need to order my dress.”

“I set myself a challenge to lose my 50th kilo by my 30th birthday. I have 10 kilos to go. I’ll order the dress in the next couple of weeks.

After listening to the intricate details of the lavish party, the thought, the challenges and the goals set for this fabulous celebration. I wanted to know how she picked the guests.

“This party is not about things, it is about people, it’s about the people that mean the most to me right now at this point in my life. Who are the 30 most important people that I want to spend an extravagant night with. You know that concept of picking 30 people to have dinner with alive or dead, these are my people.”

“The way you are describing it to me, and the detail you have gone into, this party sounds more like a celebration of the people in your life than yourself.”

“It absolutely is, because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be me.”

“My mum and dad and my grandma and my grandpa, need to take one hundred percent accountability for the person that I am.”

“I kind of had an epiphany, I needed to define a friend and a colleague. This process was almost like a journey of self-discovery, and me defining who are the most, important people to me. The people that make an effort. I am so lucky and blessed with the people in my life, they have always been there for me, I am so grateful for all of them.”

Instagram likes

 

Yesterday morning, I was on Facebook and found this great article that I blogged about later in the day. This morning I was on Instagram scrolling through stunning images of people on holiday, baby photos, breakfast photos, selfies, memes the list goes on. A little orange heart pops up to tell me that Luca Spaghetti like my photo. Seriously Luca Spaghetti, liked a photo I uploaded to Instagram I kid you not.

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I mean he has been read about in 10 million copies of Eat, Pray, Love by Lizzie Gilbert. Everyone knows Luca.

Luca the Italian tax accountant, the man that will never live anywhere but Rome so he can be near his Mumma (what a good Italian man), Luca the man that is still in love with his childhood sweetheart, the man that took Liz out for a cream puff after his soccer team was defeated one Sunday afternoon, the man that got Liz gilbert to eat newborn lamb intestines, the man that encouraged Liz to become a master of bel far niente, (the beauty of doing nothing). Luca the man that declared his favourite English word is Surrender.

Ok, ok, I may be going over the top a bit here with Luca liking one image on my Instagram account. I mean I didn’t get this excited when I had a photo of Brett Lee at the cricket.

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But seriously, in 2010 when Eat, Pray, Love was released, I read it 3 times in 3 days. I was like all of the other 10 million women that bought the book and made it an instant New York Times bestseller that stayed on the charts for over 200 weeks. I wanted to escape to Italy, practice yoga and meditating in an Ashram, Bali didn’t really appeal to me – but I would have made it work. At the time I was stuck in a big black hole, and the escape that Eat, Pray, Love provided me was priceless. I pre-ordered movie tickets and was in the opening session of the Julie Roberts movie (I love Julia Roberts but the book is always better). I attended a lecture by Elizabeth at the Brisbane Powerhouse, where she cursed like a sailor, inspired motivation comparable to her friend Oprah, was so incredibly authentic and fabulously funny and all the name of provoking people into embracing their own creativity. This woman is one funny, creative and down to earth chick, who is obviously a wonderful person, just going off her book and the people that welcomed her into their lives and loved her on her journey . Luca, Sofie, Giovanni, Richard from Texas, Ketut Liyer and Wayan all my absolute favourite people from the book. And I am still stoked that LUCA liked my post.

 

So thank you Luca, I feel very special. Xx

 

 

Brazilian

Announcing my arrival I am asked to have a seat. Abbie my stunning beautician with model looks, perfectly styled hair and dressed in her pristine black uniform, greets me and directs me to the beauty room. She opens the door and I am engulfed with the most refreshing yet soothing fragrance. I have no idea what it is, I make a mental note to ask her, when I am not feeling so nervous. “Fabulous” she says, “ok strip down so everything is off your bottom half, there is a box of wipes for you to freshen up, lay down on the table, place the towel over you and I’ll be back”. With an elegant turn she is gone. I am left standing in the middle of this refreshingly, soothing fragranced room, stunned into silence. I knew that I would have to bare all, but hadn’t given it much thought until now and the wipes, oh dear lord how embarrassing. I do as I am instructed and lay on the beauty bed, contemplating how ridiculous I would look if I left this minute. Abbie glides back into the room in all of her stunning beauty. Checks a pot sitting on bench which I assume is the wax, comes over and whips the towel off, claps her hands and says “great let’s start, spread your legs and we will get rid of all this hair”. Oh. I. want. to. die. Me the woman who can count on one hand, how many people have been between my thighs! One husband, one obstetrician that I had for both boys, and one gp, who has done all my pap smears and know Abbie the beautiful beautician. “So have you had a Brazilian before?” “Yes, but never waxed”. “Oh” she says as she scrunches up her face “it always hurts the first time but after that you’ll be fine”. Fantastic. Abbie walks over twirling what looks like a  large paddle pop stick with pink wax on it. She applies the molten wax and it actually feels quiet pleasant and warm. I try to concentrate on the very white ceiling, while forcing myself to keep my legs open. Abbie is professional in her job, she lulls me into a false sense of security with her happy chatting. She rips the now hardened wax with hundreds of hairs attached, from the follicle on my vagina, I feel myself launch off the bed and I think that I may have also screeched “fuck”. She smiles and walks back over to the wax pot. I have decided Abbie the beautiful beautician, is fucking evil. Abbie continues her chatter, I continue to have to talk myself out of punching her in the vagina. This is after she informs me, that she has only ever had one Brazilian in Beauty College because they hurt too much.

At one point near the end of this ridiculousness, she swipes one very large patch of molten hell from top to bottom of my poor red, but now hairless lady parts. I actually start giggling uncontrollably with the thought that she has to rip that fucker off. She must be able to tell that by now I am in shock, because mid-giggle. Rip. Yep the beautiful evil beautician rips the wax off. I think my skin is on fucking fire. Then to my absolute horror, she pulls out a pair of tweezers. She assures me that we are nearly done and that she wants to make sure that I am completely hair free. I am now grunting in response. As my eyes burn holes in the ceiling, my cheeks also flame red at the mortification of this experience, my lady parts are sensitive and throbbing.

Abbie comes over places a large, heated towel over me tells me that we are done and she will meet me out at the counter to pay. While I stand, at the counter paying an obscene amount of money to have my vajajay put through hell. I am cursing myself for wearing my pretty lace knickers that are now scratching my poor abused vagina, I have an overwhelming wish to go commando. I don’t register until I am in the car that Abbie the beautiful beautician, has booked me for a follow up Brazilian in one month. I will be cancelling and I do not care what the fragrance in the room was. I will associate that smell with beautiful evil beauticians and molten hell.

Twenty-one days

I contemplate our lifestyle as a Fly in– Fly out family and it isn’t about the money. I’m increasingly worried about Scott’s mounting frustration and tension with being away for twenty one days.

Twenty-one nights in a single bed that feels like a piece of concrete. I know he craves, our queen- size bed, with his big strong body curled around mine, holding me tight, not having to wake at 4.30am. No line-up for breakfast, lunch and dinner, his stomach turning at the sight of what is on offer. I can’t wait to sit down and savour a home cooked meal with him.

Twenty-one days of running along the fence line, because the gym overflows with the same people that he lines up for meals with.

Twenty-one times of blowing in the breathalyser, despite having no access to alcohol.

Twenty-one days a month 600kms away, to support us. Transported by a car, plane and bus to get to the 400- man camp that he stays in. The compound could be mistaken for a jail. I know that after a long and detailed process, the gas that is being extracted is only used for domestic use. To top it off, working in 50 degree heat and minus zero temperatures.

In this next swing, I will not spend Easter with my husband, he will miss our oldest boy’s cricket grand final and our youngest boy’s school recital.

The screen is black, the ring tone bleeps as I anxiously wait for Scott to hit connect. I mean, how ridiculous that I am anxious, he is my husband.

As FaceTime connects I see the green eyes and scruff that details a strong jaw. His face beams at me and I know that my face has an equally blinding smile; my eyes sparkle with tears I will not shed. “Hey beautiful, no crying,” he says. Oh god, my heart melts seeing his face and hearing his voice at the same time.

“Hi babe, so I need to interview you on fifo!”

“Yes dear, what do you want to know?” Scott sighs, sounding exasperated. He loathes talking about work and being away. Preferring to spend our time together hearing about home.

“Babe, before we start on this interview let me have a quick chat to the boys.” As I listen to Scott laugh and talk to our boys about school and cricket. I am eternally grateful for modern technology. Jack sits at our much- loved kitchen table, with his dad on FaceTime working through Year 8 maths homework.

Toms laughs as he talks to Scott. “Yes, mum’s doing the dishes!”

“I wish I was doing the dishes with you babe,” Scott yells through the computer screen. The dishes have always been our time at the end of the day to chat and catch up. Now text messages, phone calls and FaceTime are our way of catching up.

I grab the laptop and make my way to our bedroom, so we can chat without interference from the boys.

“So what do you hate about fifo?”

“Seriously, that’s your question?” His unconscious movement of running his hand over his short back and side’s haircut signalling signals his pent- up frustration. “You know the answer to that. It’s fucking shit.” Beautiful green eyes hardening, jaw tense and eyebrows drawn in so far they nearly touch. “It pisses me off that I don’t get to come home to you and the boy’s every day. I want to be home for Easter.” Swipes his hair again. “I am here working my ass off, dealing with idiots that couldn’t organise a piss- –up in a brewery. Working on a public holiday with no penalty rates. After twenty one days I hate the ass holes I work and live with. I did five hundred squats today. Five hundred times I had to squat down and tie off cable. Because some idiot ordered the wrong equipment and refuses to send it back. It’s bullshit. They want us to work harder and faster, with no additional tools and resources.” I scan over his chest and face as he sits rigid and tense on the single bed, as he swipes his hair.

“We got told, that there has been 9 suicides since Christmas, that’s nine blokes that who killed themselves. Fifo and everything that goes with it did that.” (My stomach sinks and I consider the poor men that got to that point, and the families left behind to deal with that devastation.)

Abandoning the questions I had prepared, we chat and catch up about home. Scott now lounges casually on the single bed and his smile reaches his eyes. It makes me think of last month when I picked him up at the airport.

He crossed the zebra crossing dragging his bag behind him at a furious pace, the backpack used as a carry -on slapped against his back, black cap pulled low down over his green eyes. I could see he had no intention of making eye contact with anyone until he reached me. He made sure to wear the black t-shirt that I love. It shows off just a peek of his tattoos, on the arms I adore. Dressed He was dressed in his low slung jeans that hang off his gorgeous ass perfectly. Scott reached our four- wheel drive that took us camping for that break and wrenched the door open. I just about jumped the seat to get to him, I had missed him the past three weeks.

Bringing me back to our conversation he laughs. “Mel, you need to go babe, I can hear the boys arguing.”

My whole body slouches in sadness, tears slip down my face at having to say goodbye. Scott’s eyes are full of love and with a beaming smile across his face. “Love you, babe,” he declares as he hits end. His image is frozen for a second on the screen while the connection drops out. As I stare at the image, I am the one left feeling frustrated and tense with Fly in and Fly out.